Clay County High School has announced the commencement speaker for this year’s graduation, Kenneth Tanner.
Tanner recently retired from Clay County Schools as the superintendent. He has dedicated his 36-year education career to the students of Clay County. His is most noted for his intense focus on academic achievement and caring for each child as an individual. His legacy of service above self is one that will be remembered for generations to come.
Tanner graduated from Clay County High School in 1978 as the class valedictorian. He attended Glenville State College from 1978 until 1981, obtaining a bachelor of arts degree in business education and mathematics. He taught mathematics and business education at Clay County High School until 1989. In 1989, he obtained a master’s degree in education administration from Marshall University and became the vocational education director for Clay County Schools.
In 1995, he was named to the position of principal of Clay County High School and served in that capacity until 2001. Tanner served as administrative assistant and assistant superintendent for Clay County Schools until 2011, when he became superintendent of Clay County Schools.
He retired on December 31, 2016, after serving five-and-a-half years as the Clay County superintendent. After retirement, he returned to the classroom as a substitute teacher, which he seems to enjoy very much.
Tanner is married to Sharon Marks Tanner and has four children and one grandchild. His oldest two, Kelly and Allen, are teachers in the Clay County school system. Kelly is a psychologist/counselor and Allen is a math teacher. The youngest two, Aden and Acelyn, are currently in kindergarten and preschool. Additionally, Tanner has two grandchildren, Kinsley and Lacey.
Tanner is currently the pastor of the Nebo Baptist Church and an accomplished singer and musician, having written and recorded more than a hundred songs. His hobbies include Bible study, music, camping, genealogy, and raising kids and grandkids.